Konza Technopolis is a key flagship project of Kenya’s vision 2030. The Kenyan government intends for Konza city to be a key driver of Kenya’s national development plan. Upon completion, Konza smart city, located in Machakos County, will put Kenya at the forefront as an ICT hub in Africa.

Inception

Konza Digital city was initiated in 2008 by the Kibaki administration, but the project didn’t take off until 2018. The government procured a 5000-acre farm was at Malili Ranch along Mombasa Nairobi road. The project is estimated to cost about 14.5 billion dollars.

The project aims to attract business process outsourcing, software development, data centres, disaster recovery centres, call centres, light assembly manufacturing industries and building a university campus focused on research and technology and hotels, residential areas, schools, and hospitals. It will also include a science park, a convention centre, shopping malls, hotels, international schools, and a health facility.

The project aims at generating 17 000 direct jobs and has 200 000 residents in the city by the end of 2030. It also aims at contributing to the growth of Gross Domestic Product by 10% annually. Konza Technopolis seeks to be a significant economic driver for Kenya and beyond and develop world-class infrastructure and technology to facilitate research and business development. Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES). The city will transform Kenya into a knowledge-based economy. It targets business process outsourcing, software development, data centres, disaster recovery centres, call centres, flight manufacturing industries, and research institutions.

The team

A detailed business plan and master plan for Phase 1 was assigned to Master Delivery Partner 1 (MDP1) by The Ministry of Information and Communications (Kenya) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2012. A shortlist of 6 firms was picked by The Ministry and IFC including HR&A Advisors, Inc. who led the team, SHoP Architects, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, Centre for Urban and Regional Planning, OZ Architecture, Dar Al-Handasah and Tetra Tech.

Through The Konza Technopolis Development Authority, the Government of Kenya selected Tetra Tech as the master delivery partner for the cons of Technopolis project. Tetra tech provides programme management, architecture engineering services and capacity building to support The Konza Technopolis Development Authority with the implementation of phase 1. Tetra tech leads a team of global and Kenyan firms to design and construct high-quality roads, parks and utilities to ensure effective city operations and administrative foundations

Current progress

The management team has engaged the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to oversee the project’s planning as the Transaction Advisor. Various feasibility studies have been completed, and finalization of the detailed implementation plan and strategy by the Master Delivery Partner 1 (MDP1) has been conducted.

 Establishment of Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) and appointment of a Board of Directors and Submission of the Draft KoTDA Bill to the Attorney General to expand the Authority’s mandate has been completed.

Management has received the approval of design drawings to construct an iconic Sales Pavilion by the Directorate of Public Works and the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). They have also created a 10 km buffer zone around the City.  Besides this, they have Drilled and equipped seven boreholes.

Intended impact

With an emphasis on sustainability and cutting edge design, Konza city’s vision has already generated considerable interest from investors and multinational companies. Upon completion, Konza city will become one of Africa’s most desirable real estate.

Konza will positively impact the country’s economy by creating opportunities for local investors, attracting external investors, supporting start-up incubation, and creating jobs for locals.

The project also carries the promise of excellent infrastructure development across the region. Construction of a dual carriageway between Nairobi (Kenya’s capital city) and the Konza site is underway. Kenya Railways is in the process of developing a new railway network, including both high-speed and standard train routes, which will include Konza as a stop, making the rural location easily accessible. Unlike other urban areas in Kenya, Konza city sets the standards for waste management to promote sustainability, 95% of the wastewater will be recycled.

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